The John Daly show

John Daly smacks one of his trademark monster drives during the Telus Skins Game at Banff Springs...

John Daly smacks one of his trademark monster drives during the Telus Skins Game at Banff Springs yesterday. Daly left his mark on Day 2 -- literally, when he hit one of the spectators with a ball on No. 16 -- by wrapping up all nine skins after being blanked Monday. (Calgary Sun/Brett Gundlock)

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

BANFF -- His scorecard, paycheque and winner's trophy suggest John Daly authored the most perfect of conclusions to the Telus Skins Game yesterday.

The Maxfli mark still on the side of a spectator's face this morning suggests otherwise.

Rebounding from a front nine Monday during which he appeared more interested in his Marlboro Lights than his seventh Skins game, Daly's interaction with the gallery took a brief turn for the worse when his 300-yard bomb on the 16th hole strayed left and landed just under the eye of an onlooker.

"I hope he's OK -- that ball hit him right (under the cheekbone) and bounced back 30 yards," said Daly, who signed a ball for the fallen fan, who seemed soothed by an ice pack and complimentary Grey Goose Daly likely had sent over.

"I'm glad I missed his eye."

It was one of the only things the two-time major winner missed yesterday, firing a 5-under 30 that would have been one better had his 5-ft. birdie putt on No. 12 not been re-routed by a spike mark.

"I added some weight to my putter and that helped," said the 40-year-old Hooters pitchman, who gave his putter to a child on the ninth green Monday after missing several short putts.

"I got it rolling on the back today but I think Stephen (Ames) probably played better than all of us."

After pocketing six skins for $95,000 Monday, Ames looked well on his way to defending his title until he missed a three-footer for eagle on the 632-yard 11th at Fairmont's Banff Springs Golf Course.

Three holes after missing a short putt of his own, Daly got on the board with a $135,000 birdie putt from seven feet that gave the fan favourite his first six of nine skins on the day.

"You feel like an idiot if you have no skins," smiled Daly after pocketing the casino-bound cash.

When asked how he'd celebrate his first Skins title, the poster boy for partying sang a different tune than the one he belted out with his guitar to bring down the house at Monday night's fundraising dinner.

"I'm just excited to see my kids -- I haven't seen 'em for a month," said Daly, who flew back to his home in Memphis last night with $210,000 in tow.

"This has just been a lot of fun. That back nine is absolutely gorgeous.

"We were all talking going up the fairway that there had to be three times as many people as we've ever had for the skins."

IMG bigwig Brad Pelletier said of the 14 Canadian Skins Games, this was by far the best and most successful, which he says bodes well for a possible return.

The enthusiasm of the fans demonstrated why the five-man demo was perhaps the biggest event Banff's ever staged, raising $200,000 for the Alberta Children's Hospital thanks in part to the presence of legends Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, who played well but were shut out.

Daly scoffed at the notion the crowd (and TV audience this weekend on TSN at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday) wasn't privy to as much banter between the five on Day 1.

"I don't think you heard us because the wind was blowing too hard," laughed Daly, admittedly run-down Monday when he delighted fans simply by toting a drink and smoke most of the afternoon.

"We were talking about the blonde," said Ames when asked of a particular conversation between him and female-fan favourite Sergio Garcia.

"Wasn't it the brunette on the right?" added Garcia.

In fact, it was probably the guy with the welt on his face courtesy of Long John.


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